Handling Home Inspection Deficiencies

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Have you found deficiencies in a home inspection that have you concerned, but you still want the house?  There are a few ways to handle it while keeping the deal together.

Obvious Deficiencies

If there’s an obvious deficiency, such as a house for sale with an old air conditioner, or a roof in dire need of repair, it can be hard to negotiate for these items after you have an accepted agreement. Be very detailed during your first visit. Look closely at walls, ceilings, and mechanical components. Open and close doors and drawers, appliances, and windows. If you find any obvious items in need of repair, those items can be handled upfront.  If your first visit was quick and lacked a keen eye, try to get in one more time before submitting the offer.

** Keep in mind that the seller and their real estate agent may have already accounted for these deficiencies when pricing the home. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have grounds for negotiations.

Negotiate a Price Reduction After the Home Inspection

Our preference is always to determine an estimated cost of the repair and then a fair value to adjust the price –note that if the air conditioner is found to be not working, being compensated for a new A/C may be a hard sell vs. the cost to repair it or a price higher than that but lower than replacement cost. Keep in mind that if there was a new A/C to start, the house should have sold for more.

Price adjustments to account for deficiencies are usually preferred because you can oversee the repairs yourself, select your preferred company/tradesperson and products vs. leaving those decisions to the seller.

The Seller Completes Repairs

There are circumstances where a seller may not be willing to reduce the price, and they offer to handle repairs on their own. Perhaps they’re a qualified electrician, plumber, carpenter, or simply a handyman who’s capable of repairing the item in question.  While we still prefer the previous option, this is still a worthy consideration depending on the work to be completed.

One essential thing to remember when the seller will be facilitating the repair is to be specific about what and who is to do the work, when it’s to be completed, and what proof is to be provided to you, the buyer.  All too often, we see vague clauses that would hold little weight in court if the situation went south.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may find the thought of the process daunting and be easily discouraged. Rest assured that it can be fun and rewarding. With the right real estate agent on your side, it should be smooth sailing.  Be sure to check out our top tips for first-time homebuyers for more information on how to get your feet wet in real estate.



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